Top News

Mingo Music Sales celebrates a half-century in business in Truro


TRURO, N.S. – In 1967, Bob Mingo was a husband, a father of three, and working full-time at Brookfield Foods (now Scotsburn); plus he was playing gigs as a drummer one and two nights a week; and yet somehow he figured it would be a good idea to open a music store in the basement of his Truro home on Duke Street.

“I think mostly the idea was to help his musician buddies, but he also had three mouths in the nest crying to be fed,” says his son Dave, who now runs the business out of a two-story building on Prince Street. “I don’t think Dad was thinking it would ever grow to this extent.”

Grow it did, out of the basement and into the Mingos’ living space. In 1971, Bob’s wife, Dave’s mother, Ada put her foot down and Bob bought a building on Dominion Street.

With a hair stylist and a barbershop renting the store fronts, Bob Mingo’s Music Sales moved into the basement there too.

The music business continued growing, needing more space for more inventory, space to do repairs, space for printed music, space for lessons and so eventually crept upstairs just as it had done on Duke Street.

Bob was doing well enough to hire part-time staff and he even took on a partner for a while.

When his last tenant moved out of the Dominion Street building in 1982, Ada opened The Book Nook there, selling new and used books.

[Book Nook closes after 34 years of selling books in Truro]

Dave’s first job was at the bookstore when he was 13 or 14 but after taking guitar lessons for a couple years he transferred over to the music store.

“We still rely on that rule today: you can’t hire someone to work in a music store who doesn’t play an instrument,” says Dave.

Dave says as a teenager, working for his parents wasn’t the coolest thing in the world but being around drums and amplifiers more than made up for it. His plan after high school was to study jazz and then… and then?

“I figured that was the way to get more music education but I hadn’t really thought it through to what I’d do after,” says Dave.

Instead he followed his father’s advice and studied business at Acadia. He was hoping to get a job with a big firm but when that didn’t materialize he came back and went to work again in the store with his father.

Dave came out of college thinking bar graphs and charts and formulas for running the business.

“Dad just said no, no, forget that, here’s how we do it,” says Dave.

Dave was able to help bolster sales of printed music and music books, as this was one thing Bob just couldn’t find time for.

“That was where I made my first mark,” says Dave. “That was his first glimmer that maybe I had a clue. As the years went on, and Dad saw I knew what’s what, he let the rope off me a bit.”

Gradually the two men grew into a partnership and, for the last five or six years of working together, Dave was doing most of the repairs, ordering the product, paying the staff.

When Bob passed away in 2003, Dave took over.

In 2006, needing still more space, he moved the business round the corner to Prince Street.

Dave says they’ve managed to stay in business this long because they have always treated their customers right, providing good, honest customer service.

“A bit of it’s stubbornness, tenacity, and experience – I imagine we were battered and bruised in the early days, but I benefitted from Dad’s experience – and then the other things is the people we have had working for us, good people, people who are with us.”

 

Celebrating 50 years

Mingo Music Sales has been in business for 50 years – but owner Dave Mingo isn’t sure exactly what date his father Bob started selling guitars out of their basement.

“Dad is the only one who might remember and since he can’t tell us, and rather than pick a date, we’re going to celebrate for 50 weeks,” said Dave.

Mingo is announcing a new special on Facebook every week – either 50 per cent off certain products, or 19.67 per cent off or selling items for $19.67.

Mingo’s Music Sales on Facebook

Mingo is also teaming up with various local organizations and individuals to hold fundraisers.

“We also need to say a huge ‘thank you’ to a community that has continued to support us over all those years,” says Mingo.

The weekly posts also include a small history lesson either about the store, its staff or about the year 1967.

 “Day to day running the store, we don’t get a lot of time to reminisce but this is a chance to remember, to look back at where we came from and celebrate: we are still here, we’ve lasted,” says Mingo.

jonathan.riley@tc.tc

Mingo Music Sales timeline

1967 Bob Mingo started selling guitars from basement of his home on Duke Street

1971 Bob Mingo Music Sales moved into basement of 10 Dominion Street

1982 Ada Mingo opened the Book Nook in one side of 10 Dominion Street

2003 Bob passed away and Dave took over Mingo Music Sales

2006 Ada passed away and Sheila MacAulay took over the Book Nook

2006 Mingo Music Sales moved to Prince Street

2017 Mingo Music Sales celebrates 50 years in business in Truro

“I think mostly the idea was to help his musician buddies, but he also had three mouths in the nest crying to be fed,” says his son Dave, who now runs the business out of a two-story building on Prince Street. “I don’t think Dad was thinking it would ever grow to this extent.”

Grow it did, out of the basement and into the Mingos’ living space. In 1971, Bob’s wife, Dave’s mother, Ada put her foot down and Bob bought a building on Dominion Street.

With a hair stylist and a barbershop renting the store fronts, Bob Mingo’s Music Sales moved into the basement there too.

The music business continued growing, needing more space for more inventory, space to do repairs, space for printed music, space for lessons and so eventually crept upstairs just as it had done on Duke Street.

Bob was doing well enough to hire part-time staff and he even took on a partner for a while.

When his last tenant moved out of the Dominion Street building in 1982, Ada opened The Book Nook there, selling new and used books.

[Book Nook closes after 34 years of selling books in Truro]

Dave’s first job was at the bookstore when he was 13 or 14 but after taking guitar lessons for a couple years he transferred over to the music store.

“We still rely on that rule today: you can’t hire someone to work in a music store who doesn’t play an instrument,” says Dave.

Dave says as a teenager, working for his parents wasn’t the coolest thing in the world but being around drums and amplifiers more than made up for it. His plan after high school was to study jazz and then… and then?

“I figured that was the way to get more music education but I hadn’t really thought it through to what I’d do after,” says Dave.

Instead he followed his father’s advice and studied business at Acadia. He was hoping to get a job with a big firm but when that didn’t materialize he came back and went to work again in the store with his father.

Dave came out of college thinking bar graphs and charts and formulas for running the business.

“Dad just said no, no, forget that, here’s how we do it,” says Dave.

Dave was able to help bolster sales of printed music and music books, as this was one thing Bob just couldn’t find time for.

“That was where I made my first mark,” says Dave. “That was his first glimmer that maybe I had a clue. As the years went on, and Dad saw I knew what’s what, he let the rope off me a bit.”

Gradually the two men grew into a partnership and, for the last five or six years of working together, Dave was doing most of the repairs, ordering the product, paying the staff.

When Bob passed away in 2003, Dave took over.

In 2006, needing still more space, he moved the business round the corner to Prince Street.

Dave says they’ve managed to stay in business this long because they have always treated their customers right, providing good, honest customer service.

“A bit of it’s stubbornness, tenacity, and experience – I imagine we were battered and bruised in the early days, but I benefitted from Dad’s experience – and then the other things is the people we have had working for us, good people, people who are with us.”

 

Celebrating 50 years

Mingo Music Sales has been in business for 50 years – but owner Dave Mingo isn’t sure exactly what date his father Bob started selling guitars out of their basement.

“Dad is the only one who might remember and since he can’t tell us, and rather than pick a date, we’re going to celebrate for 50 weeks,” said Dave.

Mingo is announcing a new special on Facebook every week – either 50 per cent off certain products, or 19.67 per cent off or selling items for $19.67.

Mingo’s Music Sales on Facebook

Mingo is also teaming up with various local organizations and individuals to hold fundraisers.

“We also need to say a huge ‘thank you’ to a community that has continued to support us over all those years,” says Mingo.

The weekly posts also include a small history lesson either about the store, its staff or about the year 1967.

 “Day to day running the store, we don’t get a lot of time to reminisce but this is a chance to remember, to look back at where we came from and celebrate: we are still here, we’ve lasted,” says Mingo.

jonathan.riley@tc.tc

Mingo Music Sales timeline

1967 Bob Mingo started selling guitars from basement of his home on Duke Street

1971 Bob Mingo Music Sales moved into basement of 10 Dominion Street

1982 Ada Mingo opened the Book Nook in one side of 10 Dominion Street

2003 Bob passed away and Dave took over Mingo Music Sales

2006 Ada passed away and Sheila MacAulay took over the Book Nook

2006 Mingo Music Sales moved to Prince Street

2017 Mingo Music Sales celebrates 50 years in business in Truro

Recent Stories